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‘Home Alone,’ ‘Terminator 2’ and others join the National Film Registry

‘Home Alone,’ ‘Terminator 2’ and others join the National Film Registry
Posted at 8:35 AM, Jan 02, 2024

What do Kevin McCallister and the T-800 robot have in common, other than the ability to inflict pain? Their movies were both recently honored by the U.S. Library of Congress as a vital part of America’s cinematic heritage.

Last month, the Library announced its annual slate of films to be included in the National Film Registry, a program that spotlights films worthy of preservation for their contributions to American culture.

Twenty-five films were chosen for 2023, spanning almost 90 years of movie history. The Chris Columbus comedy “Home Alone” and the James Cameron action epic “Terminator 2: Judgement Day” made the cut, but they’re not the only strange bedfellows on the list. Also included are “Fame,” “Apollo 13,” “12 Years a Slave,” “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and the original 1955 Disney animated film “Lady and the Tramp.”

Home Alone movie poster
20th Century Studios

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The most recent movie to be added was “20 Feet From Stardom” (2013) and the oldest was the 1921 film production documentary short “A Movie Trip Through Filmland.”

As per the Library of Congress rules, movies must be at least 10 years old to be nominated. While the Librarian of Congress, National Film Registration Board make the final selections with Library specialists, members of the public can submit nominations.

Here’s the full slate of this year’s chosen films, as posted on the Library of Congress website.

  • “A Movie Trip Through Filmland” (1921)
  • “Dinner at Eight” (1933)
  • “Bohulano Family Film Collection” (1950s-1970s)
  • “Helen Keller: In Her Story” (1954)
  • “Lady and the Tramp” (1955)
  • “Edge of the City” (1957)
  • “We’re Alive” (1974)
  • “Cruisin’ J-Town” (1975)
  • “¡Alambrista!” (1977)
  • “Passing Through” (1977)
  • “Fame” (1980)
  • “Desperately Seeking Susan” (1985)
  • “The Lighted Field” (1987)
  • “Matewan” (1987)
  • “Home Alone” (1990)
  • “Queen of Diamonds” (1991)
  • “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” (1991)
  • “The Nightmare Before Christmas” (1993)
  • “The Wedding Banquet” (1993)
  • “Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision” (1994)
  • “Apollo 13” (1995)
  • “Bamboozled” (2000)
  • “Love & Basketball” (2000)
  • “12 Years a Slave” (2013)
  • “20 Feet from Stardom” (2013)

Eight hundred seventy-five films have been added to the Registry since 1989; the aim is to honor movies from a wide range of American cinema with “cultural, historic or aesthetic importance.” And while one main goal is to encourage preservation of these films, the Library of Congress doesn’t always take on that task itself. Instead, it often works with other archivists and studios to ensure that listed movies will be around for generations to come, in a variety of formats.

Want to catch up on your film history? Select titles from the Registry and other archival footage are available for viewing at the Library of Congress’ National Screening Room. And if you want to see a movie included in 2024, you can nominate a film through Aug. 15.

‘Home Alone,’ ‘Terminator 2’ and others join the National Film Registry originally appeared on, helping make the most out of life.

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